Comedian John Mulaney says he was investigated by the Secret Service following a joke he made about Julius Caesar on Saturday Night Live.
This week, John Mulaney revealed the Secret Service has a file on him thanks to a Julius Caesar joke he told on Saturday Night Live. Now an established comedian, Mulaney got his start on SNL as a writer in 2008. He remained with the show for several seasons and occasionally appeared on air, though he was never a regular cast member. Since his time on SNL, Mulaney has become known for his critically acclaimed stand-up specials, including The Comeback Kid and Kid Gorgeous. He also stars in Netflix’s Big Mouth animated series alongside other SNL alums. Last year, Mulaney created and starred in John Mulaney & the Sack Lunch Bunch, a children’s musical comedy special that will continue on Comedy Central.
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In the last two years, Mulaney has hosted SNL a total of four times. Most recently, he did so just before the U.S. Presidential election, with some criticizing his monologue about it. Prior to that, Mulaney hosted in late February, just before the coronavirus forced SNL to suspend in-person shows. In his opening, Mulaney made a joke about Julius Caesar with a thinly-veiled reference to Donald Trump, saying, “…another thing that happened under Julius Caesar was he was such a powerful maniac that all the senators grabbed knives, and they stabbed him to death.” Mulaney continued on to joke, “That’d be an interesting thing, if we brought that back now.”
Appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live this week, Mulaney revealed the Secret Service investigated him as a result of the Julius Caesar joke. He stated, “Am I stoked there’s a file open on me? Absolutely. Did I enjoy it in the moment? Not so much.” Luckily, Mulaney said the person looking into him was “understanding that the joke had nothing to do with Donald Trump.” The comedian was also asked by the Secret Service about “manifestos” he may have online, with Mulaney joking he has “bad writing habits” that would make that impossible. Mulaney also revealed he was officially cleared, indicating the joke didn’t have any long term effects.
During the original SNL monologue, Mulaney seemed to recognize the Julius Caesar reference could be controversial. He joked about calling his lawyer before making the comment, who then had to call another lawyer to give Mulaney permission. However, judging by the comedian using the investigation as late-night show fodder, it seems he isn’t too concerned about it. Mulaney even remains excited about the idea there’s a file open on him. Although real threats should be taken seriously, it helps Mulaney was clearly joking in this case and was also careful not to mention Trump by name.
Of course, SNL is no stranger to overt Trump references and appearances. Portrayer Alec Baldwin had a busy fall, playing Trump often in the leadup to the Presidential election. Though those appearances will lessen, if not stop entirely, in 2021, politics remain the bread and bread of SNL. Due to that, it’s inevitable some jokes will be seen as controversial. However, hopefully future ones don’t result in an investigation by the Secret Service.
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Source: Jimmy Kimmel Live
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